Veteran DL Derek Wolfe, Super Bowl 50 winner with Broncos, retires from NFL after 10 seasons

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Derek Wolfe’s football career began along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. It will end in Denver.

After 10 NFL seasons, Wolfe is calling it quits. The defensive tackle announced Friday he is retiring.

“After 🔟 seasons in the NFL, I’ve decided it’s time to step away from the game. Time for a new beginning.” #ThankYouDWolfe x @Derek_Wolfe95 pic.twitter.com/qeCyOrKLw7

Wolfe entered the league as the 36th overall selection of the Broncos in the 2012 NFL Draft and quickly proved himself worthy of the second-round pick, recording 40 tackles (nine for loss) and six sacks in his first season. It launched an eight-year run with the Broncos in which Wolfe played a key role along Denver’s defensive front during their stretch of Super Bowl contention.

In 2015, the pursuit of a title became a reality when the Broncos’ stellar defense bottled up Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl 50 and send Peyton Manning off to retirement as a winner.

“In my opinion, that Super Bowl was the easiest game that we played all year,” Wolfe said in his retirement video. “All season. Easiest game, because we knew that there was nothing, there was no denying that victory for us. We weren’t going to be beat. We just knew it.”

Wolfe never appeared in fewer than 11 games in a season, but he also battled through his fair share of injuries in his later Broncos years, twice landing on injured reserve between 2017 and 2019 due to a neck injury and a dislocated elbow.

Wolfe’s career in Denver came to an end after the 2019 season when the Broncos acquired five-time Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey from the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a seventh-round pick. Just two weeks later, Wolfe signed with the Baltimore Ravens, where he played one season before a hip injury robbed him of a chance to participate in a regular-season game in 2021.

Despite his departure near the end of his career, Wolfe found where he belongs when Denver chose the University of Cincinnati product in 2012.

“I’ve made Denver my home,” Wolfe said. “It feels like I’m from here now. I’ve lived here for a decade. I love it here.”

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